One, Two, Three

One of my all-time FAVORITE resources this book:

Susan Brumfield turned me onto it when I took levels at PSU.  First of all, the songs were collected my Alan Lomax and Bess Lomax Hawes so it's a great primary resources and it's got a wonderful accompanying CD of songs that they collected from the Caribbean.

If you've taught elementary general music you're probable familiar with "Gypsy in the Moonlight."  I believe both McMillan and Silver Burdett have it in their text book series.  That song was collection by Alan Lomax and Bess Lomax Hawes and is found in this book.  

There are many WONDERFUL songs in this collection, but this is my all time favorite: One, Two, Three.  It's a mixed meter song, which is wonderful for 5th graders.  The tone set and rhythmic features are accessible to fifth graders to read in both stick notation and on the staff by the end of the fifth grade year.  AND it's got a great game that's perfect for playing both inside and outside as the spring weather becomes more and more beautiful.

Here's One, Two, Three:

Formation:  standing circle, with partners facing each other with and extra player in the middle.
Action:  The song is sung numbers one through twenty while the players clap a steady beat.  At the word "Twenty-one" a partner clapping pattern begins as such: 
Beat one of each measure all players pat both hands on their legs.
Beat two of each measure players clap their own hands.
Beat three of each measure players pat the hands of their partners.
The other action that begins when the text says "twenty-one" is the middle player (the person without a partner) cuts into one of the sets of partners, replacing one of the players who then becomes the new person in the middle.  This action continues throughout the game with the new center person cutting into a new set of partners and taking one of their places and leaving the partnerless person to become the new center person.  This continues until "one-hundred" and the goal is to not be the person in the center without a partner.  


  1. I have a question about the placement of the repeat sign in the music. How do you get from twenty-nine to thirty? Is the repeat sign off by a measure? If not, what do you sing at the repeat in the measure that has 17, 18, 19?

    1. Oops! My repeat is in the wrong place, I didn't notice that until your comment! It repeats back to the measure that says twenty but you insert thirty instead. I"ll update the post with the correct notation. Sorry about that!!!


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